Fact: What motivates people who work for you most is recognition.
Believe it or not! Studies show employees find recognition for a job well done more motivating than money. Knowing that what you do is important and appreciated is the best reward.
Do you ever call an employee into your office — just to thank him or her for good work or special effort? How about writing a personal note on an employee’s paycheck envelope?
Maybe you lack the time or creativity to devise appropriate rewards. “1001 Ways to Reward Employees” by Bob Nelson presents a variety of ways to say thank you.
Here are some tips from Nelson:
- Try to catch your employees doing something right, not wrong. Then reward the behavior. Encourage employees to repeat it. Managers must serve as coaches.
- Simply asking for employee involvement is motivating. Many employers offer rewards for employee suggestions and ideas.
- Giving rewards and recognition provides a law-cost way of encouraging employees. Some examples:
- Give your employee a two-hour lunch — or better yet, a three-day weekend.
- Do your employee’s least desirable task for a day.
- Use employees in your ads or commercials.
- Establish a place to display photos, memos or posters recognizing employee achievements.
- Buy your employee a subscription to a journal, magazine or newsletter or pay that person’s dues to a professional organization.
- When you hear a positive remark about an employee (from a customer or another employee, for example) repeat it to that person as soon as possible. Seek the employee out, if necessary.
More Easy Reward Ideas:
- Greet employees by name when you pass their desks or pass them in the hall.
- Call an employee into your office just to thank him or her. Don’t discuss anything else.
- Write five or more Post-it notes thanking an employee for a job well done and hide them among the work on his or her desk.
- Ask a friend of the employee to suggest a gift or activity the employee might enjoy.
- Ask an employee to help you with a project that provides a real challenge.